A severe decline of Facebook’s shares sent the Nasdaq down more than 1 percent on Thursday, the index’s largest one-day decline in a month. However, industrial stocks rose after the United States and the European Union said they would negotiate on trade.
Facebook fell 19.0 percent, their largest ever one-day percentage drop, after the social media giant forecast years of lower profit margins. The decline in Facebook shares weighed on the S&P 500 technology index, which fell 1.6 percent.
Shares of Amazon, another member of the so-called FANG group of momentum stocks, fell 3.0 percent and were the second-biggest drag on the Nasdaq and S&P after Facebook. In after-hours trading, they were modestly positive in volatile trading following the company’s quarterly results.
Shares of Twitter, scheduled to report its quarterly results on Friday, slid 2.9 percent.
Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was higher in part on the strength of industrial stocks. Industrials, which have been a bellwether of trade tensions, were lifted after Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker agreed to work to resolve U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum and Europe’s retaliatory duties.
S&P 500 energy stock index also advanced, ending the session up 1.0 percent, as oil prices rose on the disruption of some of Saudi Arabia’s oil shipments.
Another drag on the S&P and Nasdaq was Biogen, whose shares fell 10.2 percent as trial data from its Alzheimer’s drug failed to impress investors.
McDonald’s closed out the trading day down 1.7 percent after the company missed same-store sales estimates for the first time in at least two years.
Chipmakers, however, were a bright spot amid Thursday’s declines. The Philadelphia SE Semiconductor Index rose 1.9 percent.
Shares of Advanced Micro Devices were up 14.3 percent and Xilinx climbed 9.6 percent after both companies reported robust quarterly results.
Shares of Qualcomm gained 7.0 percent after the company cancelled its $44 billion bid for NXP Semiconductors NV upon failing to win Chinese regulatory approval. NXP shares fell 5.7 percent.
Supervalu rose 65.4 percent after United Natural Foods agreed to acquire the supermarket operator in a $2.9 billion deal. United Natural sank 16.3 percent.
Approximately 7.05 billion shares changed hands on the major domestic equity exchanges, as compared to the 6.06 billion-share average over the past 20 trading days.
Earnings Results for S&P 500
As of Wednesday, 147 S&P 500 companies that account for 40.9 percent of the index’s total market capitalization, have reported results. The total earnings of those companies are up 23.3 percent from the year-ago quarter on 9.1 percent improvement in revenues.
To put it another way, 83.7 percent exceeded in earnings and 74.8 percent exceeded their Street consensus revenue numbers. Total earnings S&P 500 second quarter earnings are expected to grow 22.3 percent year over year, on 8.4 percent higher revenues.
The broader Medical sector (includes drug, biotech as well as Medical Device companies) is expected to record year-over-year growth of 6.6 percent in revenues and 10.3 percent in earnings in the second quarter.
Capital Goods Orders Rise
According to a report released by the Commerce Department on Thursday morning, new orders for capital goods increased more than expected in June and shipments surged, pointing to solid growth in business spending on equipment in the second quarter.
Expectations of robust economic growth in the April-June period were, however, tempered somewhat by other data on Thursday showing a widening in the goods trade deficit last month and no change in retail and wholesale inventories.
Orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft, a closely watched proxy for business spending plans, rose 0.6 percent last month after an upwardly revised 0.7 percent increase in May.
Core capital goods orders increased 6.8 percent on a year-on-year basis.
Shipments of core capital goods rose 1.0 percent last month after an unrevised 0.2 percent gain in May. Core capital goods shipments are used to calculate equipment spending in the government’s gross domestic product measurement.
Business spending on equipment has risen since the fourth quarter of 2016. It is expected to have combined with robust consumer spending to boost second-quarter GDP growth.
According to a Reuters survey of economists, GDP growth likely increased at a 4.1 percent annualized rate in the April-June period, which would be double the 2.0 percent pace notched in the first quarter. The government will publish its advance estimate of second-quarter GDP growth on Friday.
The Commerce Department also said on Thursday that our deficit rose 5.5 percent in June to $68.3 billion. Goods exports declined by $2.2 billion to $141.9 billion last month. Imports of goods rose by $1.3 billion to $210.3 billion. Both wholesale and retail inventories were unchanged in June.
Business spending on equipment is being supported by the Trump administration’s $1.5 trillion income tax cut package, which came into effect in January. But there are worries that trade tensions between the United States and its major trade partners, including China, Canada, Mexico and the European Union, could offset the fiscal stimulus.
Last month, orders for electrical equipment, appliances and components rebounded 1.5 percent after slipping 0.5 percent in May. Orders for computers and electronic products rose 0.6 percent while those for machinery gained 0.2 percent.
There was also an increase in demand for fabricated metals. Orders for primary metals fell 0.4 percent.
Overall orders for durable goods, items ranging from toasters to aircraft that are meant to last three years or more, increased 1.0 percent in June as demand for transportation equipment rebounded 2.2 percent. That followed a 0.3 percent drop in durable goods orders in May.
Orders for motor vehicles and parts jumped 4.4 percent last month, the biggest increase since March 2015, after plunging 4.5 percent in May.
Orders for civilian aircraft rose only 4.3 percent last month, despite Boeing (BA.N) reporting on it website that it had received 233 aircraft orders, up from only 43 planes in May.
Unemployment Claims Increase
A report from the Labor Department on Thursday indicated that initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased by 9,000 claims to a seasonally adjusted 217,000 claims for the week ended July 21.
Claims dropped to 208,000 during the week ended July 14, which was the lowest reading since December 1969. The labor market is viewed as being near or at full employment.
Job gains averaged 215,000 positions per month in the first half of this year.